Close to 17 colleges in Gujarat have come under the scanner of CBI and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) due to alleged irregularities in their recognition.
The CBI, Gandhinagar, along with AICTE officials raided two colleges in Rajkot on Wednesday in connection with the alleged bribery case involving AICTE chairman.
According to highly-placed sources in AICTE, of the 35 colleges indicted by the CBI in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, 17 are in Gujarat alone. These include seven in pharmacy, eight in MBA and two in engineering.
“The Gujarat-based colleges under scanner are those from the 22 self-financed engineering colleges, 15 MBA colleges and 14 pharmacy colleges that started this year,” said a AICTE source.
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The CBI investigation into charges of corruption against top AICTE officials has now resulted in the suspension of its chairman, who was refusing to step down or proceed on leave despite the investigation against him.
But the biggest question about the All India Council for Technical Education is not to do with its personnel, it is simply: do we need the AICTE at all?
The AICTE Act (1987) mandates the council to properly plan and coordinate the development of technical education in India and qualitatively improve such education. But, working by a punitive mechanism, both the AICTE and the UGC have in effect turned their regulatory role into one of merely approving or rejecting institutes, fixing input costs like salaries and fees and physical infrastructure, as well as syllabi. The CBI investigation into the AICTE has exposed the regulator’s potential for perverting this mechanism for the benefit of individuals. For many, the AICTE had become synonymous with charges of red tapism. The regulator’s handling of the CFA controversy in 2007 was an eye-opener for many. Nor is AICTE accreditation any guarantee of a programme’s quality. Several
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